A writer walks into a coffee shop…

There was a guy and a girl seated behind me at the coffee shop today. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop but I got sucked into their conversation. Seems they were friends, definitely not a couple, and she’s trying to make some sort of difficult decision that her boyfriend isn’t on board with.

Her friend had recently made a big move, despite not having a real plan or anywhere to land when he got there. But he knew if he didn’t just do it now, he never would.

The friend told her that if you want something you have to just go after it, you can’t keep waiting, never know if you don’t try, etc etc, and I had to restrain myself from turning around and shouting AMEN at him with a fist bump. Probably those two things shouldn’t go together, but it felt right.

There were also two girls seated behind me. If I had to guess, they were newer friends, getting to know each other better. They seemed super young to me – like I wondered why they weren’t at school – but after overhearing a few things I think they are both college graduates at least. Guess I’m just getting old.

From them I heard things about not being appreciated by people and needing to let go of those who aren’t supportive. Do what you have to do for you. Ad nauseam.

All of this going on behind me, in a newly opened (and much needed) coffee shop in the center of town. The place was buzzing for the 2+ hours I was there and everything I got (a salted maple latte; a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on gluten free bread; an iced decaf vanilla latte) was delicious. Even without the gluten. And I love me some gluten.

I didn’t intend to do a year end post of any sort. This blog is mostly dedicated to my writing and all things related, but today felt a bit surreal as I listened to the discussions behind me. I have no idea who these people are and wouldn’t recognize them on the street, but I understand. If you guys somehow come across this someday, I understand what you’re going through. It’s hard, and it’s scary, but it’s worth it.

I started out the year somewhat frustrated but motivated to figure out what it is I should be doing with my life. I’d tried and failed or given up a few things at that point and had already passed several mental deadlines with more looming.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’ve got it all figured out now. I don’t. And I probably never will. And I still have deadlines and goals that will be missed, but I have some that I will exceed expectations on as well. I do have one thing figured out though. You’ve gotta put it out there – whatever it is for you – if you want anything to change.

Everyday you get up and do the very best you can, with what you have, where you are (yeah, a slightly altered Teddy Roosevelt quote for you, and one of my favorites). Some days you might be the best employee. Or mom. Or wife. Or writer. Or artist. Or crossing guard. And some days you won’t. Just do what you can, everyday, and even when it feels like you’re not making progress, when you look back you’ll see how far you’ve come.

Last January publishing a novel was something hidden way back in the dark portions of my brain – probably the same place where all the screwed up shit that happens to Charlotte comes from – but it kept shoving it’s way to the front. No matter how much I tried to pretend there were other things, less risky, less personal, more… traditional, things I could be doing, it kept pushing.

So as 2014 comes to a close, I sit in an independent coffee shop started by someone’s dream, listening to four people discuss major life struggles and decisions with a positive attitude, while writing my fourth novel. I won’t claim this was my dream a year ago – I had no idea what my dream was. But I will steal something the young lady’s friend said to her… “I’m happy where I am, and I’m happy with where I’m going.”

Lately, I’ve been wearing Mantrabands most days. If you are into inspirational reminders, check them out, I’m pretty addicted. The latest one I purchased I deemed my Christmas present to myself (or was those new boots I bought?) is how I’ve tried to live 2014 and my strategy for 2015.

“She believed she could, so she did.”

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